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13 Positive and Negative Effects of Nanotechnology



Positive and Negative Effects of Nanotechnology

Amira S. Soliman*

Natural Resources Department, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

13.1 Introduction

New technologies are always applied in an area such as agriculture to improve the

­production of crops. For the last decade or so, nanomaterials have been widely used in the world, such as the use of nanoparticles in agriculture, with the particles having certain valuable effects on the crops (Morla et al., 2011; Mishra et al., 2014). Nanoparticles have enhanced interaction, due to an increase in each of the following: reactive area; specific surface area; or responsiveness of these particles along the particle surfaces.

Nanotechnology can provide solutions to increasing agricultural productivity and decreasing environmental problems (Mishra and Singh, 2015; Mishra et al., 2017).

With the use of nanoparticles and nanopowders, researchers can produce controlledor delayed-release fertilizers (Roghayyeh et al., 2010; Kottegoda et al., 2011). On the other hand, there is now extensive argument about the hazards of releasing nanomaterials into the environment (USEPA, 2007), so many researchers are operating with increasing awareness of this topic in order to evaluate the potentially negative effects on the environment and on human health (Ruffini and Roberto, 2009). Therefore, this chapter highlights the importance of nanotechnology in improving agricultural productivity, and its ability to improve plant growth under normal and environmental stresses. Further, it will also shed light on some of the negative effects of nanotechnology that affect plants in particular and the environment in general.

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8. Ownership and theft: How the economic value of crops has influenced their domestication: Breadfruits, Sugarcanes, Cloves, Rubber, Tea, Coffee, Mulberries, Monkey Puzzles, Artichokes, Pineapples



Ownership and theft

By weight, plant products are some of the most expensive commodities on earth. You might expect therefore that this would have driven us to domesticate many more crops than we have. However, the reverse is probably true. This chapter includes several examples where crops have become so valuable that this has fuelled economic self-interest in those involved in growing and trading in these crops. This in turn has driven them to steal, smuggle, outlaw and even destroy these plants, to an extreme that has been damaging to our crop genetic resources.

Everywhere you look there are plants. Without plants there can be no animals and certainly no humans. We don’t just eat plants. While doing so; we sit on chairs made of plants, eat at tables made of plants, and live in homes built of plants. We clothe ourselves in plant fibres. They are used to make musical instruments and most of our great literature and art was produced on plant material, coloured with plant pigments. We ferment plants to produce alcohol. Chemicals derived from plants make us high and are also still the basis of most of our medicines. The list goes on and on. And yet, we still utilize a tiny proportion of the plants that are available to us. Not only are plants essential for most human activities, the crop plants that we exploit in so many diverse ways are the rare elite. This can make them incredibly valuable and the people who control their cultivation and trade exceedingly rich and powerful. It is no great surprise therefore that human history is bursting with stories of subterfuge, stealing and smuggling of crops plants. Breaking monopolies of supplies of crops frequently motivated the great journeys of discovery such as those of

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2 Agriculture for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals



Agriculture for Achieving Sustainable

Development Goals

The Context

Globally, poverty and hunger are still the twin challenges before human civilization despite specific temporal and spatial efforts. Though extreme poverty has been reduced by more than half since 1992, more than 800 million people live on less than US$1/day and roughly half of the world’s population lives below US$2.50/day.

One in nine people is undernourished. Poor nutrition is the cause of 45% of the deaths among children under the age of 5, nearly 3 million each year. Every 3.5 seconds a child dies due to poverty.

Therefore, it is necessary to produce affordable, nutritional, safe and healthy food more efficiently and sustainably.

Agriculture is facing a bigger threat now than ever before on account of degradation of natural resources, especially land and water, as well as the adverse impact of global climate change. Hence combating climate change, reducing emissions and conserving natural resources, without compromising economic development, especially on the food front, would require a new set of policies, institutional reforms and additional investment in the agricultural sector (NITI

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14 Indigenous Livestock Resources in a Changing Climate: Indian Perspective



Indigenous Livestock Resources in a Changing Climate: Indian


S.P.S. Ahlawat, Pushpendra Kumar,* Kush

Shrivastava and N.R. Sahoo

Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, India


14.1 Introduction

Biological diversity, the variability of life on earth, exists in the form of different species and breeds within the animal kingdom. This diversity is created in the process of molecular/biochemical/metabolic reactions, and acts as a critical measure of adaptation in changing climatic conditions. Indigenous breeds have adapted to climatic variations since time immemorial, and hence have acquired unique traits that make them suitable in given agroclimatic zones; for example, the Indian cattle breeds,

Tharparkar and Sahiwal, are heat and tick resistant. Similar cases have also been observed worldwide in Asia, Africa, Europe,

Latin America, North America and the south-west Pacific region, having a total of

1144, 1300, 345, 104 and 108 breeds of major livestock species, respectively. Native breeds, namely N’Dama cattle, Red Massai sheep, etc., have developed trypanosomiasis resistance and gastrointestinal nematode tolerance by continuous natural selection.

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13: Maize Kernel Oil Content



Maize Kernel Oil Content

Bo Shen* and Keith Roesler

Agricultural Biotechnology, DuPont-Pioneer, Johnston, Iowa, USA

13.1 Introduction

Although maize is a staple food crop that contributes a large percentage of calories to human diets in a few countries, its major use worldwide is for animal feed. One approach to improve the metabolizable energy of maize for feed applications involves increasing kernel oil content, because oil has the highest energy density. The average

­kernel oil content in commodity maize is

~4.5% on a dry weight basis; each kilogram of oil contains 9400 calories, which is 2.25 times greater than that of starch on a weight basis. Several feeding trials using high-oil maize for poultry, hogs, and dairy cattle have shown increased growth rates and feed efficiency (Perry, 1988). In addition to direct use of maize grain in feed, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product of ethanol production that contains 10% oil, is an economically valuable feed ingredient for livestock.

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2. Avocado Weevils of the Genus Heilipus



Avocado Weevils of the

Genus Heilipus

Alvaro Castañeda-Vildózola,1 Armando Equihua-Martinez2 and Jorge E. Peña3


Facultad de Ciencias Agricolas, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de México,

Toluca, Estado de México, México; 2Instituto de Fitosanidad, Colegio de

Posgraduados, Montecillo, Texcoco, Estado de México, México; 3Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Homestead, Florida 33031, USA

The genus Heilipus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), originally described by Germar in 1854, com­ prises 91 species distributed in the Americas,

39 for North and Central America (O’Brien and Wibmer, 1982) and 52 for South America

(Wibmer and O’Brien, 1986). Vanin and Gaiger

(2005) reported H. odoratus as a new South

American species, increasing the number of the original list to 92. The morphological charac­ ters that describe the genus Heilipus were

­proposed by Kuschel (1955) and are as follows: prementum glabrous, hind tibiae curved and formed in the inner corner unciniform strong mucro, premucron absent and mesosternal pro­ cess tuberculiform. It has been suggested that most of these species show their close relation­ ship with plants within the families Lauraceae and Annonaceae, and primitive angiosperms, however this association has been confirmed for only a few of them (Benchaya-Nunes, 2006;

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17 Beyond Displacement by Armed Conflict: the Relationship Between Environmental, Economic and Armed Displacement in Colombia



Beyond Displacement by Armed

Conflict: the Relationship Between

Environmental, Economic and Armed

Displacement in Colombia

Carolina Castro Osorio1,* and Edinso Culma2

Secretary of Culture, Bogotá, Colombia; 2National Center for Historical Memory,

Bogotá, Colombia


Introduction – Conflict and Forced

Displacement in Colombia

In the mid-1960s the National Liberation Army

(ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of

Colombia (FARC) emerged in Colombia. The emergence of these leftist guerrilla groups was a response to the political control of the National

Front, a power-sharing agreement between the two main parties (the Liberals and Conservatives) from 1958 until 1974, the unequal distribution of rural land and the high levels of rural poverty. From the mid-1960s until today, Colombia has been subject to an armed conflict intensified with the consolidation of paramilitary armed groups (right wing, counter-subversive illegal groups) in the 1990s and the association between illegal groups with the coca economy.

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Nematophagous Fungi and Oomycetes

Of all the natural enemies of nematodes, the nematophagous fungi are the most diverse. They are found in many different taxonomic groups within the fungal kingdom, and use a variety of mechanisms to capture and kill nematodes. Hundreds of species have been described, and this chapter makes no attempt to cover them all. Instead, it focuses on the most widely studied groups, discusses how they parasitize or prey on nematodes, and reflects on the ecological characteristics most likely to affect their capacity to suppress nematode populations. Further general information on this group of fungi can be found in Barron (1977), Gray (1987, 1988),

Morgan-Jones and Rodriguez-Kabana (1988),

Jansson and Nordbring-Hertz (1988),

Siddiqui and Mahmood (1996), Chen and

Dickson (2004a) and Nordbring-Hertz et al.


One issue that impacts on any discussion of the nematophagous fungi is the many taxonomic changes that have occurred in the last

15 years. DNA analysis is now used routinely in fungal systematics, and the results of such analyses have often challenged historical groupings of species at the genus level, which were previously based on morphology. A list of fungal names, together with commonly

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22. Likelihood of Dispersal of the Armored Scale, Aonidiella orientalis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), to Avocado Trees from Infested Fruit Discarded on the Ground, and Observations on Spread by Handlers



Likelihood of Dispersal of the Armored Scale, Aonidiella orientalis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), to Avocado Trees from Infested

Fruit Discarded on the Ground, and

Observations on Spread by Handlers

M.K. Hennessey,1 J.E. Peña,2 M. Zlotina1 and K. Santos2

USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 1730 Varsity Dr., Suite 300, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606,

USA; 2Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS,

Homestead, Florida 33031, USA


We investigated the likelihood of infestation of orchard trees by crawlers of oriental red scale,

Aonidiella orientalis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), originating from artificially infested fruit discarded into an orchard. In a favorable climate, the percentage of crawlers settling on a tree from very heavily infested fruit discarded when crawlers were emerging, from fruit with a long shelf life, and from fruit discarded near a tree, was low. Infestation was higher when fruit was in contact with the tree than when it was placed

2 m away. It is concluded that establishment via the pathway of commercially produced fruit for consumption is low, because such fruit has not been observed to be as heavily infested, and is not as likely to be discarded in an orchard as was the study fruit. A second part of the study investigated if fruit handlers could become infested with crawlers and be a pathway for establishment. Fruit handlers did receive a low percentage of crawlers on their clothes when they engaged in brushing crawlers from heavily

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7 Bioefficacy




There has been continued interest in plant-­ derived chemicals to control pest insects because chemical pesticide products have substantial environmental hazards and health impacts. Although many natural products show lower mammalian toxicity than organochlorine, carbamate or other synthetic insecticides, it is a misconception that they are given a free licence for use just because they are natural products. One has to be cautious when searching for new insect control agents because target insect species may become resistant to them and it is important that non-target invertebrates and natural ­enemies are not harmed. There has been an emphasis on obtaining either the compounds that are direct toxins for insect pests or are compounds that modify the behaviour of target species and have a primarily nontoxic mode of action that may, in the long term, provide the most dependable and environmentally safe method of chemical control.

Insect antifeedants are one of the major categories of behaviour-modifying compounds that have been extensively documented in my earlier volume about insect antifeedants (Koul,

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24: IPM Case Studies: Grain



IPM Case Studies: Grain

Hans-Michael Poehling,1* Thomas Thieme2 and Udo



Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Section Phytomedicine, Leibniz

Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany; 2BTL Bio-Test Labor GmbH, Groß

Lüsewitz, Germany; 3Julius Kühn-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany


Today, aphids are major insect pests in many cereal-growing regions of the world. Damage results from direct feeding and honeydew production, as well as virus transmission. Although first descriptions of outbreaks date back to 1970, cereal aphids are still a focus of agricultural research and extension services to estimate damage potential, to develop forecasting and control models, to select partially selective IPM-compatible pesticides, to improve pesticide application methods and to elucidate and re-establish natural control by predators and/or parasitoids, in particular in programmes aimed at improving ecosystem services. In central

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9 Roles of ABC Proteins in the Mechanism and Management of Bt Resistance



Roles of ABC Proteins in the

Mechanism and Management of

Bt Resistance

David G. Heckel*

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany


9.1 Introduction

Genetic studies of strains of insects that have developed resistance to pore-forming

Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have provided useful and unexpected insights into the mode of action of the toxin.

Independent approaches in five species of

Lepidoptera have converged on the same result: that mutations in a member of the superfamily of ABC transporters confer resistance to Cry toxins. These mutations range from a single amino acid insertion to truncations that delete most of the protein.

This result is surprising, because since the first detection of the specific binding of Cry toxins to sites in the lepidopteran midgut in

1988, no studies had documented any sort of interaction between Cry toxins and ABC proteins. It is hypothesized that ABC transporters mediate the critical step of Cry pore insertion into the membrane.

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7 Conservation Agriculture in North Africa: Experiences, Achievements and Challenges



Conservation Agriculture in North Africa: Experiences,

Achievements and Challenges

Oussama El Gharras,1* Mohamed El Mourid2 and Hakim Boulal3

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Settat, Morocco; 2International

Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Rabat, Morocco;


International Plant Nutrition Institute North Africa Program, Settat, Morocco


7.1  Introduction

Traditionally, North Africa represents six countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya,

Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. However, in this chapter, North Africa refers only to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and will only consider rainfed regions.

Agriculture plays an important role in this region, where the climate is mostly

Mediterranean. The northern areas are characterized by wet winters and hot dry summers. The southern parts are mostly desert with < 150 mm annual rainfall where agriculture is based on rangeland pasture, cereals cultivation on flood plains and oasis farming systems. The middle or intermediate areas are typically semi-arid with < 450 mm annual rainfall and hot dry summers.

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12. Other Hormonal Signals during Ripening



Other Hormonal Signals during


Christopher Davies* and Christine Böttcher

CSIRO Plant Industry, Glen Osmond, SA, Australia

12.1 Introduction

Ask any plant biologist which hormone is involved in fruit ripening and the answer will almost inevitably be ‘ethylene’. The role of ethylene during fruit development has been much discussed, and the case for it being pivotal in climacteric ripening is well established (see Grierson, Chapter 10, and Kumar and Sharma, Chapter 11, this volume). This simple molecule has dominated the research effort into the control of fruit ripening. This is partly because of its rather obvious effects on the ripening of some fruit and partly because it coordinates the ripening of many commercially important fruits that can also serve as model species for study, such as tomato. However, ethylene is far from being the only hormonal influence on fruit ripening. There is increasing interest in other hormones that deserve our attention with regard to the control of ripening in both climacteric and non-climacteric fruits.

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5: Nematophagous Fungi: Virulence Mechanisms



Nematophagous Fungi: Virulence


Pedro Luiz Martins Soares,1* Rafael Bernal de Carvalho,1

Paulo Roberto Pala Martinelli,1 Vanessa dos Santos Paes,1

Arlete Jose da Silveira,2 Jaime Maia dos Santos,1

Bruno Flavio Figueiredo Barbosa1 and Rivanildo Junior Ferreira1


Department of Plant Protection, UNESP, Jaboticabal,

São Paulo, Brazil; 2Department of Agrarian and Environmental Sciences,

State University of Santa Cruz, Ilheus-Bahia, Brazil

5.1  Introduction

may transform a conducive soil from suppressive soils; and collaborates to the integrated

Plant-parasitic nematodes cause physiological handling of nematode management in sustainchanges and injuries that reduce the absorp- able agriculture (Soares, 2006). tion and transportation of water and nutriBiological control aims to reduce the nema­ ents to the plant, affecting their development, tode population or their capacity to feed on or productivity and even product quality. They cause damage to plants through the action of cause an estimated loss of US$358 billion one or more living organism that occur naturally annually on a worldwide basis (see Abd-­ in the soil, or through the manipulation of the

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